Author Topic: Episode #744  (Read 591 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline Steven Novella

  • SGU Panel Member
  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1846
    • http://www.theskepticsguide.org
Episode #744
« on: October 12, 2019, 04:19:01 PM »
Interview with Bruce Hood
5-10 Year Follow Up: Fairy Circles
News Items: Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Physics, and Medicine
Electric Jet Engines
Who's That Noisy
Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7609
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 10:05:42 PM »
Interview with Bruce Hood
5-10 Year Follow Up: Fairy Circles
News Items: Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Physics, and Medicine
Electric Jet Engines
Who's That Noisy
Science or Fiction

Thank you for formatting the show notes for legibility, Steve.

I admit I got a little lost in the electrojet discussion. I was tired and have to listen again. I do still love the 5-10 Year Follow Up segment. That's my favourite discussion right now, I think. What's the Word is a close second.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline mabell_yah

  • The Number You Are Thinking Of
  • *
  • Posts: 69
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2019, 03:46:43 PM »
That electric jet story was a hot mess. First of all, Jay made it sound like an inverter is a power generator, which Steve finally corrected him on. Then he said an inverter changes AC to DC. Wrong! An inverter changes DC to AC. A rectifier changes AC to DC. Why do we need an inverter? Why do you have to change the electricity's form? Don't we have both AC and DC electric motors? And how do you run a "jet" on electricity? I can see a prop plane, but not a jet. And the closer about a 20MW passenger plane - the power source is massively more challenging than the wiring. Massive fail of a story.

Offline Aurora_borealis

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 2
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 05:02:59 PM »
The segment was a bit of a miss, true...

The reason you need an AC motor is that this type doesn't require a coiled rotor that needs to be supplied with power from the outside (in which case, you need brushes and a commutator to put electrical power on a moving part). Motor designs not requiring the rotor to be excited are more robust as they are bushless, like induction motors or permanent magnet synchronous motors - both designs are AC (multiphase AC more precisely, in order to create a rotating magnetic field). Plus, the inverter (converting the batteries' DC power to AC) can provide variable frequency AC, hence the ability to electronically control the rotation speed of the motor.

Powering a jet might be possible with ducted fans, but the main problem will be weight, mostly because of the low energy density of heavy batteries versus the exergy density of aviation fuel - so electric jets will be relatively small in the capacity to carry passengers and/or will have short range.

Offline brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7609
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 09:45:50 PM »
Last year some friends and I (mostly the professional engineer friend) worked out a sci-fi fusion generator the size of a large fridge. It worked out to 15MW - 14MW electricity and 1MW heat - in roughly 2m3. We ended up using the vast amounts of electricity to drive what we called "Vectored Atmospheric Magneto-Plasma Propulsion Systems" or VAMPPS. Each fusion engine was attached to hundreds of 30cm blisters all over the hull of the craft. Each VAMPPS blister is relatively simple: the thrustor is attached to the surface of the aircraft by a hollow load-bearing strut that carries reaction mass (atmosphere or stored water) to be fed in from inside the ship, and electricity to be fed to the electrodes. Each thruster can rotate 360° in one plane. The exhaust is angled slightly away from the shell of the craft to avoid melting it. Air or water is turned into plasma at the intake vents and then captured by intense magnetic fields. These blast the plasma out of the VAMPPS with 200kg / 441 pounds of thrust. One ship, Biggs, is a modified V-22 Osprey with 200 thrusters for a total of 40000kg of thrust. I think it had 2 or 3 of the fusion engines.

Ubiquitous electrical power is going to be awesome.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Online bachfiend

  • Not Any Kind of Moderator
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2071
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2019, 11:00:13 PM »
Another episode I won’t be listening to.  The only item that I would have been interested in was the interview with Bruce Hood who has published a new book ‘Possession,’ which notes that people are just too obsessed with buying stuff that they don’t need.

He’s absolutely right.  So I immediately bought a copy of it.  So I could possess a copy of it.  And add it to my very long list of books to read.  If only I could live long enough to read and reread all the books I want to. 
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9059
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 10:26:17 AM »
Jay's apparent belief that an inverter is a generator made me wonder once again: Why is he even on the show? Oh, yeah, because he's Steve's brother.

I read somewhere about electric jets. Probably on the TeslaMotorsClub chat board. Apparently, the concept does work and I thought I read that such engines have been built and flown. If my really bad memory is not deceiving me. Again. They would be usable only on short flights now, because of the weight of the batteries. But this is such old news that I couldn't figure out why the rogues were talking about it just now.

I got SoF right, maintaining my record of about one in ten, or well below chance.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8038
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 10:36:30 AM »
I haven't listened yet, but I imagine that Jay got his misinformation about electric jets from this recent article at Universe Today which seems to make the same mistakes you mentioned (in particular, it says that inverters are needed to convert AC to high voltage DC, which is of course patent nonsense).
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2948
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 11:12:42 AM »
It would definitely be better to go electric than biofuel, for as long as increased biofuel consumption means more land use. Transitioning to biofuels seems to be more about cheating the established emission standards, rather than about reducing the environmental impact.

Although the article comes off as more of a press release than an independent story.

I haven't listened yet, but I imagine that Jay got his misinformation about electric jets from this recent article at Universe Today which seems to make the same mistakes you mentioned (in particular, it says that inverters are needed to convert AC to high voltage DC, which is of course patent nonsense).

Yes, that's the source in the show notes.

"Jet fuel is not cheap either", as if they're reaching for arguments to cater to the audience. Jet fuel is nowhere near expensive enough, or we wouldn't be throwing it away on random intercontinental shopping trips, or intercontinental searches for some sand to lie various degrees of naked on top of.

Figures they would want to do everything they can to reduce the weight, both in the sky and in space, and that's a good thing in terms of energy efficiency. But both until we're full electric in the sky, and until we have so much clean energy production that we're already done  sucking the excess CO2 back from the atmosphere and oceans, we need to reduce the amount and scale of travel. Instead of slowly increasing the efficiency, while we keep building more airports and encouraging people to travel as much as possible.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9059
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 03:50:57 PM »
... we need to reduce the amount and scale of travel. Instead of slowly increasing the efficiency, while we keep building more airports and encouraging people to travel as much as possible.

Just one of many ways in which an economy based on capitalism and the profit motive is incompatible with a sustainable civilization. A capitalist economy needs to continually consume resources in order to avoid collapse. Travel is one part of this. But I thought I've seen numbers showing that car travel (unless the car is at capacity) uses more energy per passenger mile than a jetliner.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online CarbShark

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11956
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 04:22:02 PM »
That electric jet story was a hot mess. First of all, Jay made it sound like an inverter is a power generator, which Steve finally corrected him on. Then he said an inverter changes AC to DC. Wrong! An inverter changes DC to AC. A rectifier changes AC to DC. Why do we need an inverter? Why do you have to change the electricity's form? Don't we have both AC and DC electric motors? And how do you run a "jet" on electricity? I can see a prop plane, but not a jet. And the closer about a 20MW passenger plane - the power source is massively more challenging than the wiring. Massive fail of a story.

I'd give Jay a break here. As soon as Steve started to correct him Jay agreed.

I agree that more information on the details of an electric jet would be helpful. Possibly superheated air?
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Online CarbShark

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11956
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 04:23:11 PM »
Another episode I won’t be listening to.   

Still don't get why you must post in a thread for a particular episode if you don't listen to it. It's like you're reveling in your ignorance of the topic.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 04:35:14 PM by CarbShark »
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Online CarbShark

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11956
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 04:31:48 PM »
A phaser rifle was used in two episodes of the original "Star Trek" series. "The Cage"/"The Menagerie," which was the original pilot and edited into a first season two-part episode, and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" the series' second pilot


Where No Man Has Gone Before - Wikipedia




William Shatner, holding a phaser rifle, and Sally Kellerman in "Star Trek," 1966.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 04:35:01 PM by CarbShark »
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline 2397

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2948
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2019, 04:36:55 PM »
Just one of many ways in which an economy based on capitalism and the profit motive is incompatible with a sustainable civilization. A capitalist economy needs to continually consume resources in order to avoid collapse. Travel is one part of this. But I thought I've seen numbers showing that car travel (unless the car is at capacity) uses more energy per passenger mile than a jetliner.

Per person per mile, yes, because they stack planes as tightly with bodies as they can. But that's comparing the best stat of planes with the worst stat of cars.

Odds are, if you skip one trip by plane, you aren't going to replace it with driving in a car alone the same distance that you would've flown.

Online bachfiend

  • Not Any Kind of Moderator
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2071
Re: Episode #744
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2019, 05:11:23 PM »
Just one of many ways in which an economy based on capitalism and the profit motive is incompatible with a sustainable civilization. A capitalist economy needs to continually consume resources in order to avoid collapse. Travel is one part of this. But I thought I've seen numbers showing that car travel (unless the car is at capacity) uses more energy per passenger mile than a jetliner.

Per person per mile, yes, because they stack planes as tightly with bodies as they can. But that's comparing the best stat of planes with the worst stat of cars.

Odds are, if you skip one trip by plane, you aren't going to replace it with driving in a car alone the same distance that you would've flown.

Comparing the best stat of planes with the worst stat of cars is also comparing the usual stat of planes with the usual stat of cars.

I suppose I should be embarrassed for booking a flight from Perth to Melbourne return next year (a flight of around 3 1/2-4 hours each way)?   But then again, I rarely drive, using either public transport or a bike (occasionally an e-bike recharged from my solar panels).  The plane is going to be making the flights regardless of whether I’m on it or not.
Gebt ihr ihr ihr Buch zurück?